Well, I did it. I have finished the manuscript for my second novel entitled, Nanashi and the Sword of the Fallen Star. Set in ancient Japan, the story weaves together several themes from Japanese mythology and is aimed at readers 9-12 (though discerning adults will enjoy it as wel)l. Here's a draft version of the query letter:
When Nanashi was five, she was the prettiest girl in her village – then came the night the Golden Dragon caught the falling star. As she watched the spectacle in the night sky, a glowing flake broke loose from the meteorite. It burnt the young girl’s cheek, leaving a horrid scar, tough and red like the skin of the Japanese ogre known as the Oni.Ten years later, the girl who grew up enduring taunts of “Oni Face” sets out to find the Dragon, hers to torture and execute. Then she encounters Okami, the Great Gray Wolf. He brings news of a startling augury linking her to the Sword of the Fallen Star, the very sword forged from the meteorite that burned her face. In Nanashi, the aged and careworn wolf sees a soul consumed by wrath and self-loathing; he offers his friendship, as well as way to find the sword, hoping to sway her from the path of vengeance.Meanwhile, there is another tortured soul who wishes to inflict suffering upon the vainglorious Dragon. It is the embittered Man Crow. In his possession is the Dark Blade, a merciless weapon forged with but one purpose: to challenge the Sword of the Fallen Star in a contest to determine which is the better sword.As for the Golden Dragon, ten years have passed since he inexplicably went missing. Soon he will return with, of all things, a cure for the girl’s scar. His intentions, however, are hardly noble and the gift he brings – that of beauty reclaimed – might be one the Girl with the Oni Face will forever regret.